Breaking News Facebook Search Engines

Look Out Google: Facebook Takes on Search

illustration_of_facebook_iconWatch out Google. Facebook has finally upped its search game with Graph Search, a feature that will allow the social network’s one billion-plus users to sort through information shared by their friends to answer simple and sophisticated queries alike.

The tool, which entered beta Jan. 15, will initially be tested on a small group of the network’s English-speaking members. But, if Graph Search catches on, it could become a serious competitor for other search engines, such as longtime rival Google, as well as for rating services.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Graph Search at a much-anticipated press conference at the company’s new headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif, Jan. 15.

“This is one of the coolest things we’ve done in awhile,” Zuckerberg said.

Graph Search is very different from a traditional web search. While web search offers generic results based on the searcher’s keywords, Graph Search combines user’s phrases to give personalized results.

For instance, using Graph Search, a user can type in queries like: NFL fans who live nearby? Photos of Melbourne, Australia? Friends who live in New York? Good Italian restaurants in Chicago? and get answers based on is or her social circle.

“Most people today don’t think of Facebook as a place where they can discover places to go eat or things to go do, but with this product, it is so natural to be able to do that,” Zuckerberg said. “Today we’re starting off with a few basic types of things you can search for: people, photos, places, pages for businesses and that’s just the start. We view this as a product we will be working on for years and years to come and, as it gets more complete, it is going to be this amazing resource for a lot of people around the world to use.”


Although Graph Search is far from complete, it was released to obtain user feedback so improvements can be made, Zuckerberg said.

Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page. When a user makes a query, that search not only determines the set of results, but also serves as a title for the page. Users can edit the title to create their own custom view of the content they and their friends have shared on Facebook.

Graph Search also keeps user privacy in mind, according to a Facebook press release. While the feature makes finding new things easier, Graph Search follows users’ current privacy settings, meaning users can only search for content that has been shared with them or is public.

Interests is another key component targeted by Graph Search. Users can type in queries like: music my friends like? movies liked by people who like movies I like? strategy games played by friends of my friends? movies liked by people who are film directors? and so on.

Graph Search also has the potential to help users meet other Facebook members with similar interests, said Facebook engineering director Lars Rasmussen.

“Facebook in the past has been primarily about mapping out, staying in touch with and communicating with the people you already know in the real world, but now we’re building a product that can also be used to find people you should know, people with common interests or people you want to work with.”

To get on the Graph Search waiting list, go to

About the author


Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.


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  • Great post. I’ve seen this coming for a long time. I believe Graph Search be to searching what Google+ is to social media. SEO companies have been manipulating this Graph Search before it was even unveiled by creating fake FB profiles with pictures of beautiful women. Example: Fake FB profiles Then they friend as many men as possible. Then they suggest a business page to “like.” Users of Graph Search will quickly get frustrated with spam, and get turned off in no time at all.

  • Thanks Jennifer.
    This “Facebook search” may influence the trend for the time being, but I don’t think it’ll be able to satisfy users for long. People looking for any local service may use it to get an eye on the nearest provider, but for getting quality results, they have to migrate to search engines.
    It may be a threat to Google places and other local search engines.

    • Thanks for the feedback Pragya. It will have its uses, but I am sure it won’t put Google out of business! I guess its success will also depend on its mobile capabilities.

  • I can’t imagine that they will be able to make the results that great based on the info they’re picking through but that’s just my opinion. I don’t think facebook will ever be more than a social tool/platform and it seems that search results are limited if they are only coming from a social platform. Would wikipedia results be able to make it into graph search? Maybe I just don’t fully understand it…

  • It is good news, if it will be a popular, let’s say , application, it will for sure, receive an answer from google. It depends whether the facebook users wil really use facebook to find the places to hang out or to eat. There could be two groups of sustainers, I think it depends on how a facebook lover is somebody, because the traditional way to search for anything is strongly, still, Google.

  • Google will keep its search dominance at least a few more years. Facebook and other competitors cannot compete with G in this field. They can compete and have already won the battle against G in the social media field. Google is pretty weak in that area so it shows once again that it cannot control all the sectors of online business.

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